Case of man accused of killing motorcyclist while driving drunk in court

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Defence lawyer Bob Simmonds (left) and Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre talk before the start of court in St. John’s today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The Crown wants a man accused of killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk not to be allowed to drive or be in any bars or other places where alcohol is served while the charges are before the courts.

When the case of Ronald Thistle, 65, was called in provincial court in St. John’s today, Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre indicated the Crown will be filing an application to change Thistle’s release conditions to reflect the same.

Thistle, who was not in court today but represented by defence lawyer Robert Simmonds, has been charged with impaired driving causing death and having a blood-alcohol level above the legal amount causing death.

Under the law, when someone is charged with these type of offences, a person can have their driving privileges back after 90 days but lose them again if convicted of the charges.

Judge Colin Flynn set the case over to Oct. 10 to deal with the Crown’s application.

Thistle, who lives in the Kilbride area of St. John's, was arrested as a result of a motor vehicle collision Aug. 16 in the capital city.

Thistle was said to have been driving a pickup when he pulled out of Polina Road onto Kenmount Road, causing an east-bound motorcycle to crash into the side of Thistle's truck.

The motorcycle driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Coates, was rushed to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

A number of Coates’ family members were in court today but declined to talk to media.

Geographic location: Kilbride, St. John's, Polina Road Kenmount Road

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Recent comments

  • A Mother Too
    September 16, 2013 - 12:46

    I hear the motorcycle driver hit the truck, Lets just put our feelings aside, and not convict this man all because he had alcohol on his breath, was he actually over the limit.

  • Disgusted
    September 06, 2013 - 13:52

    Yeah, and the deceased's family wants thier sons life back!

  • A Realist
    September 06, 2013 - 11:34

    While it's very easy to simply "throw the book at him", there's a reason why there is a justice system. It is very sad that a young man has lost his life in this tragic event, however let all the facts be presented before "lynching" the defendant.

  • A Human
    September 06, 2013 - 11:06

    So no need for a conviction then?

  • A mother
    September 06, 2013 - 10:16

    He should be put away for life.